How to Make Pistachio Fruit Salad – Watergate Salad
on Apr 12, 2023
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Pistachio fluff is a delicious and easy-to-make dessert that combines creamy whipped topping, pistachio pudding, and delicious pineapple. Learn how to make creamy pistachio fruit salad with this simple recipe and enjoy a light and fluffy dessert that’s bursting with flavor.
This refreshing whipped treat is perfect for any occasion and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser with many names.
Call it Pistachio Fluff, fruit salad fluff, pistachio pineapple delight or the most famous, Watergate salad. You may even remember it from childhood.
This Creamy Fruit Salad Recipe Is
- Family favorite at potlucks, holiday events, summer cookouts and more.
- Easy recipe with no baking or cooking
- Versatile and refreshing cold dessert
This popular pistachio pudding salad is easy to make with simple ingredients. Enjoy it at family events or with a holiday meal.
Here’s what you need:
- Instant pistachio pudding mix – it wouldn’t be a watergate salad without pistachio pudding
- Crushed pineapple in juice – Don’t drain the can of pineapple. You will need the juice for this recipe.
- Cool Whip – Thaw your Cool Whip and then let it be the fluff in this easy salad. You can also use freshly whipped cream if you prefer.
- Miniature Marshmallows – You can’t have a fluff salad without the marshmallows.
- Chopped nuts – use walnuts, pecans, or even pistachios
- Maraschino cherries – for topping and a splash of color
How to Make
Below is a visual walk through of the steps. Feel free to print or save the full pistachio fluff fruit salad recipe at the end of this post.
In a large bowl, combine pudding mix with the pineapple juice from the cans of crushed pineapple. Whisk it until fully incorporated and the dry pistachio pudding mix has dissolved.
It should be bright green color.
Fold in the Cool Whip or homemade whipped topping into the green stuff until just combined. Do not over mix.
Add the crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, and chopped pecans to the large mixing bowl.
Fold it in gently using a rubber spatula until evenly distributed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours, or overnight for a more flavorful salad. This will allow the marshmallows to soften and really soak in all of the flavors.
When ready to serve, top with more nuts, marshmallows or even a few maraschino cherries and enjoy!
Tips For Fluffy Salad Recipe
- Chill the mixture: It’s important to chill the mixture in between adding the different ingredients. This allows each ingredient to set and thicken, and helps the flavors to blend together more effectively.
- Fold gently: When adding the Cool Whip, pineapple, and marshmallows, be sure to fold them in gently with a rubber spatula. Overmixing can cause the mixture to become too watery and prevent it from setting properly.
- Let it chill before serving: It’s important to chill the dessert for at least two hours before serving to allow the cream to thicken, the flavors to blend, and the marshmallows to soften. This crowd pleaser will be worth the wait!
Variations To Recipe
- Pineapple tidbits can be used.
- Make homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip. This is best done if you plan to eat it within a day as it may not hold up as long.
- Add in other fruit like maraschino cherries, diced grapes, etc.
- Top with some slivered almonds for a crunch to the fruity dessert salad.
- Add in 1/2 cup cottage cheese for a tangy flavor to Watergate salad.
You can store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
The juice from the fruit will continue to weep a bit the longer it sits. If you leave it longer than a few days, the marshmallows may become soggy and mushy from sitting in the cream and fruit juices.
Make Ahead: If you are planning to make the pistachio fruit salad ahead of time, it’s best to hold off on adding any fruit toppings until serving.
Why is it called Watergate Salad?
The original recipe for this salad got its big break at none other than the Watergate Hotel. As far as I know, this recipe is as close to the original as you can get.
Can you use homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip?
Yes, you can use homemade whipped cream instead of Cool Whip, but be aware that it may not hold up as well over time.
Does pistachio fluff salad freeze well?
No, fluff salad does not freeze well and may lose its texture and flavor if frozen.
Print the Recipe
Pistachio Fluff Salad (Watergate)
- 2 pkg pistachio Jell-O instant pudding mix, 2 boxes of 3.4oz size
- 40 ounce cans crushed pineapple in juice, do NOT drain (about two 20 oz cans)
- 8 ounce tub Cool Whip OR homemade whipped topping
- 3-4 cups mini marshmallows, use a 10 ounce bag of mini marshmallows for extra fluff if desired
- ¾ cup chopped pecans
- Maraschino cherries for topping, to taste
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the pistachio pudding mix with the juice from the crushed pineapple. Whisk it until fully incorporated and there is no more powder.
- Fold in the Cool Whip or homemade whipped topping until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Add the crushed pineapple, mini marshmallows, and chopped pecans. Fold it in gently with a rubber spatula until evenly distributed.
- Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours, or overnight for a more flavorful salad. This will allow the marshmallows to soften and really soak in all of the flavors. Enjoy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.